Lately I’ve been going bonkers trying to find meals that not only everyone can enjoy but things that are lower in sodium for my Dad. His blood pressure has come down to a safer range and thankfully he’s started losing some weight. He and I are walking three days a week together and I think I’m getting more out of it than he is. I’m shorter and his stride is much longer than mine, we both have started using fitbit to monitor our steps, calories, and distance throughout the day.
So in trying to stay on track with my workouts(walking three days a week and doing cardio the other two) meals have become something I really don’t like to think about. I used to love planning out the weekly menu but lately I groan at just the thought of food. It’s bad enough I have to remember to eat 3 times a day but then add on the effort of actually making the food…yeah, no. The other night I decided chicken enchiladas sounded pretty good, they’re easy enough to throw together and the fresh homemade enchilada sauce tastes so much better than the can stuff from the store. I went to gather the ingredients and after going through the freezers(yes, more than one) I was heartbroken…there wasn’t any enchilada sauce to be found. I think I experienced at least a dozen emotions all at once lol anger, frustration, utter sadness were the top three. It was going to be ok, I thought, I’ll just grab a jar of salsa verde! Newp, none to be found. At this point I was beginning to feel defeated, I seriously had no back ups for dinner and it was already after 5pm. I checked our other food storage shelves and it was as if the light from Heaven was shining down on the four jars of red salsa! *queue heavenly choir*
Thus salsa chicken, done enchilada style, was born! I went back to the freezer and grabbed two bags of frozen cauliflower, a can of Rotel tomatoes, and a package of low sodium taco seasoning. It was so on and I had about an hour to get it all done! (I love a challenge!!!)
3–13 ounce cans of chicken, drained and shredded, roughly 5 cups of chicken
1 taco season packet
2 tsp dried minced garlic
1 Tblsp dried onion flakes
8 low carb high fiber tortillas
2 jars salsa
4 cups shredded cheddar cheese
Drain all three cans of chick and add to a large glass bowl. There might be some liquid still in the chicken, this is ok. Break up the chicken with your fingers or a fork till there are no more chunks. Sprinkle on an entire package of taco seasoning, add in dried minced garlic and onion flakes. Stir to combine and set aside. I used aluminum disposable pans to bake with, but you can use a 9×13 glass pan if you prefer. Pour half a jar of salsa in the bottom of your pan, depending on the size of your tortillas it will determine how many will be able to fit into the pan. Since we buy the large ones I could only fit four into each pan.
Now comes the fun part…the loading of the tortillas 🙂
Grab four fingers worth of cheese and place it down the center of a tortilla. Spoon about two large spoonfulls of the mexican chicken mix. By large spoonfulls, I mean rice spoon size. Fold over one side of the tortilla to the center followed by the other side to the center. Transfer to your pan placing it seam side down in the salsa. Continue on with the other seven tortillas, using one jar of salsa per pan. Pour the remaining half jar of salsa over the four chicken tortillas. Top with two cups of cheese, cover pan with foil and bake at 375 for 40 minutes. Uncover and continue baking for 10-15 minutes or until cheese is lightly browned. Let it sit for a few minutes before serving. Enjoy with sour cream on top, your favorite tortilla chips on the side and my recipe for Spanish Faux Rice (see recipe below).
1/8 serving: 391 calories; 19g fat; 39g carbs; 15g fiber; 24g net carbs
Spanish Faux Rice
2 bags frozen cauliflower, 1 pound each
1 can Rotel tomatoes, do not drain
1/2 onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
Paprika and Chili Powder for color and taste
Steam cauliflower for 10 minutes. Using either a ricer or a shredding attachment for the food processor(which is what I do), process the cauliflower to look like rice. Set aside.
In a medium pan saute onions and garlic in a little olive oil till onions are transparent. Add in riced cauliflower, Rotel tomatoes, salt, paprika and chili powder. Let cook on low to allow flavors to blend, stirring often. Serve immediately.
1/12 serving: 289 calories; 13g fat; 29.6g carbs; 12g fiber; 18g net carbs
This was such a hit with the family! Even my Mom who isn’t a Mexican chicken fan loved this dish 🙂 The key to the recipe is using canned chicken, it’s tender, juicy, and easier for her digest. Plus the entire meal was ready in an hour, right as my Dad was walking in the door! The Spanish faux rice looks just like the real deal and surprisingly had just a hint of a cabbagey flavor. Increase your onions and garlic to help mask that flavor. All in all it was a yummy treat meal!
True these dishes aren’t for the induction phase, and you can reduce the carbs by eating half of a salsa chicken wrap. Or skip the tortillas all together and serve the salsa chicken over a salad with homemade guacamole dressing. Whichever way you choose to serve this up I know you’re going to fall in love with this dish as much as we have!